Dear Sue Ellen
I love my 72-year-old Grannie, but I am thinking about grounding her. Grannie and her (equally-as-old) best friend, Mama Millie, took my daughter for the day. They told me they were going to the flea market. When they brought my daughter back her clothes were dirty, she had fake tattoos on her arms, and chocolate smeared on her face. They totally ignored the instructions I gave them. My daughter is only four years old. I never should have let her go. I don’t want to hurt my Grannie’s feelings but enough is enough. Any suggestions on how to handle this?
I really want to tell you and your generation to loosen up, but I won’t. I hope that someday when your Grannie and Mama Millie are up in heaven, you and your daughter can laugh about this. It’s a charming family story that you could share for the next 2 or 3 generations and, like all family stories, it will change with each telling. By the time your daughter is a grandmother she may tell the story something like this. “When I was a toddler, Grannie and Mama Millie took me to Nassau for the day and we swam with Dolphins, sang karaoke and went parasailing. It was amazing!”
Your Grannie sounds like a reflection of her generation. She was probably a teenager in the 1960’s. That was a unique time in our history. Girls wore embroidered sundresses and flowers in their long braids. They were also on the wild side…okay, that is an understatement.
Maybe you can take a moment to reflect on why you love your Grannie. Do you have any fond memories of being with her when you were a little girl? Did your parents approve of you spending time with her? Do you think your daughter’s safety or welfare was compromised, or are you just aggravated because they didn’t follow your instructions? Here is a little tidbit for you. Grandparents and even great-grandparents know how to roll their eyes.
So here is my suggestion. Let your daughter be around her Grannie, but maybe the next time she wants to take your daughter and Mama Millie somewhere for the day, you should go too. Who knows… you may end up with fake tattoos this time.
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